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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com July 12, 2011 at 8:18 am 3,216 61 Comments

Beloved Bishop O’Connell Football Coach Dies — Steve Trimble, Bishop O’Connell High School’s varsity football coach since 2002, died suddenly at his office yesterday morning. Trimble played high school football in Cumberland, Md., before playing for the University of Maryland on a scholarship. He played free safety for the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears during the early-to-mid 80s, before playing in arena leagues and then joining the coaching staffs of several NFL teams. Trimble, 53, was the father of four sons, all of whom played football at O’Connell. [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Immigrant Advocate Wants Office for Latinos — Lois Athey, the head of tenants-rights group BU-GATA, told the County Board over the weekend that she would like the county to establish an Office of Latino Affairs for Arlington’s 31,000 Latino residents. Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman asked County Manager Barbara Donnellan to look into options for further outreach to the Latino community. [Sun Gazette]

More iPads Coming for Arlington Students? — Camilla Gagliolo, the instructional technology coordinator for Arlington Public Schools, is a big believer in using iPads in the classroom. The device “is bringing educational technology to new levels of student engagement,” she told a conference. iPads are currently in use at several Arlington elementary schools. [THE Journal]

  • BerryBerryCold

    No! I’m being serious. No to special treatment of any group of people.

  • BerryBerryCold

    Come on, a Latino office? Can’t we just get along. No special treatment please.

    • KalashniKEV

      Maybe we can have a special office for every race. Don’t you think it could be fun? They could break down the weekly lunch schedule and each day one office could bring in a special racial dish! Everyone will follow their model. Soon even the private sector will be segregating their offices by race…

      • TMP

        As a Dutch-American, I want a Dutch office.

        • BerryBerryCold

          …or a dutch oven

  • Looks like Jesse and Mr. White are in town.

    • FrenchyB

      That’s Captain Cook and Heisenberg to you.

  • Skeptical

    During past immigration booms, did any municipality ever establish an Office of Swedish Affairs, an Office of Italian Affairs, an Office of Vietnamese Affairs? I’m seriously asking. Did it ever happen? Did it help anything? What would Ms. Athey want this office to do that Arlington’s government is not already doing?

    • Lou

      There has been an office of Italian Affairs established for a long time. They’ve made many movies about it in fact.

    • Good Point

      Esp. on Vietnamese affairs. Unlike those other groups you named, there was recently a large influx of Vietnamese and other SE Asian refugees here. Did they ask for (or receive) signage in their language? No. Did they ask for housing just for them? No. What did they do? They worked hard, invested wisely, stuck together, learned enough English to get by, and sent their kids to professional schools. The American Way.

      We need to CUT county offices, not create them.

      • samsonite

        Do you know that they didn’t ask for or receive signs or documents in their language, or are you just assuming?

        Obviously they received assistance like housing, at least from the federal government.

        You’re pulling the same old man rant that everyone pulls with immigration. You talk about how the earlier immigrants assimilated and worked hard, etc. But you know what? The earlier immigrants got just as much flak about this stuff in their day as you’re giving the new ones. Nothing new.

        • Yes, I do.

          I know this for a fact. When they got here from the mid-’70s through the early ’80s, everything was in English. Ask anyone.

          There was no housing assistance in terms of the kind of affordable housing that’s out there now–with income restrictions of the type that only a day laborer would qualify. (Sorry, teachers and cops!) Most of the SE Asians were resettled by churches temporarily, after first going through military bases. And most ended up buying property (at full market value) within one generation.

          • samsonite

            Sorry, no, unless you yourself are Vietnamese, I don’t simply take your word that “everything was in English” or that no Vietnamese ever asked for or got anything in their native language. You aren’t in a position to know that, nor is “anyone.”

          • Lou

            I was here then too. He’s right.

            Going further back to Palestinian and Jordanian immigrants who fled here in the late 60’s & early 70’s. They built communities, started businesses (some of the best pizza places around, for example) and integrated. Their kids became my friends in elementary school, and they’re still my friends today.

            The difference back then was the economy was such that they could afford to assimilate into the region without government aid.

          • samsonite

            No, as my actual research (as opposed to just relying on memories of those who can’t possibly know everything in the first place), the County did indeed provide assistance to Vietnamese immigrants in their own language. See below.

            And now you’re doing the same old man rant. People have been doing that since the earlier waves of immigrants. They complained that the Germans refused to assimilate and learn English when they came here in the early 1700s. Everyone thinks their generation was self-reliant and hard-working but the next one is lazy and stupid. It’s all selective memory.

          • Lou

            We were talking about housing support, establishing a special liaison office, changing signs to multiple languages, etc.

            Your example of giving them their own reading room actually is counter-intuitive to what is being requested today by BU-GATA, but I don’t expect you to ever admit that you’ve misstated another argument on the internet.

            And I was doing quite the opposite from complaining about the immigrants. I gave my experience of seeing quite a few success stories of families that immigrated when I was a kid.

          • samsonite

            Lou, don’t backpedal. It’s very clear what was being talked about.

            And it wasn’t just a reading room, it was someone hired by the county who spoke Vietnamese to work in the Office of Consumer Affairs.

          • Lou

            Yes, it was very clear what was being talked about. You are the only person who misunderstood. Try and keep up.

          • samsonite

            Yep, it was clear alright.

          • samsonite

            See below – I just posted proof that the county hired Vietnamese speakers on County staff in response to the arrival of Vietnamese immigrants.

        • PS

          Almost all immigrant groups have experienced an unfortunate measure of racism; that’s true. But until recently, they all had to make a go of it on their own, with no special county offices or special programs. But don’t take my word for it; talk to an American of SE Asian extraction sometime. Ask them.

          • Zoning Victim

            It’s not just about race seeing as how the overwhelming majority of the people who have immigrated to the US are actually white, and yes, everybody complained about them, too. Like you said, they stuck together and helped each other instead of asking for handouts and crying about a lack of representation.

            How is anyone reaching the conclusion that these people are underrepresented when they are 15% of the population and 20% of the representation on the Arlington County Board share their ethnicity? It looks to me like they have a lot more representation than Africans or Asians.

        • Skeptical

          I don’t deny that immigrants get flak and that it is hard to remake your life in a new country, but does it oblige us to set up an office to cater to the needs of every major immigrant group? Reading the Sun Gazette story, it is hard to tell what another office — with presumably office space at bejeezus a square foot and several paid positions — could do that Arlington’s government isn’t already doing. See a need for more Spanish speaking police officers? Take it up with the police chief. Need someone to translate materials into Spanish? Hire some bilingual people by the hour; they’re pretty thick on the ground.

          But establish an office of Latino affairs and you’ve established a “priviliged minority.” Or are we proposing to do the same thing for every immigrant group in Arlington of any size? And how long will this office be around on the public dime after the wave of Latino immigration assimilates?

          • samsonite

            I didn’t say I supported creating this office, or any office. I just questioned the claim that nobody ever got any similar help before, especially when it comes to language.

          • SSRS

            Your argument makes no sense, whatsoever. The Vietnamese population in Arlington is TINY compared to the Latino population, which has been coming here for DECADES and represents more than 17% of the county’s population. The fact that there is constantly an influx of immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries means that while the older immigrants have assimilated, there always continue to be new folks who don’t speak the language and could benefit from an office that would coordinate their integration into the “American Way” more effectively.

            People on this website simply love to complain about immigrants – and not just illegals – yet when there’s an effort to do something about it, they complain about that too.

          • samsonite

            To be fair, his point was based on the fact that the Vietnamese population in Arlington was quite large in the late 1970s when many came here fleeing the communist takeover.

            An interesting paper with some history about it is here:


            According to this paper, the county DID INDEED PROVIDE SUPPORT for the Vietnamese, including help in their own language:

            “…the county established a Vietnamese Community Center at Page Elementary School in Arlington in 1976, which hosted cultural events and boasted a well-used Vietnamese reading room. Arlington also hired a Vietnamese-speaking employee to serve in
            its Office of Consumer Affairs in 1978.”

            So we can dispense with all this “in my day, immigrants didn’t get help from the gub’mint, they worked hard and learned English” crap.

          • Arlwhenever

            Clarendon was wall-to-wall Vietnamese in the late 70’s and early 80’s, referred to then as “Little Saigon”. The boat people (they escaped with nothing but ratty clothing on their backs) received relatively little government support. I remember befriending a lady at my place of employment who was doing temp clerical work; she had been a bank officer back in Viet Nam. Church groups helped the Vietnamese refugees find homes and get jobs; the Vietnamese have been giving back to those churches ever since.

            In my experience, the adult Vietnamese immigrants of that era sacrificed whatever was necessary to get their children a fine education and a leg up on being economically successful and self-sufficient. My work friend’s eldest daughter attended Duke University, studied pre-med and ultimately became a doctor. Sadly, there aren’t many stories like that in the hispanic community.

          • Westover

            Actaully the Little Saigon Era lasted into the early 80’s. It is too bad that some of it was not able to be saved. The moving to Georgetown of the Little Viet and the closure of the Queen Bee is kind of sad.

          • John

            There was a very strong Vietnamese business community in Clarendon in the early 80s that replaced the Jewish merchants and other chain stores that closed, but very few Southeast Asians lived in the immediate area or purchased homes close by. There are of course notable exceptions. Didn’t the majority originally live in Barcroft and Rosslyn–areas that had affordable apartments, and then purchase homes further out in Falls Church?

            Since few Vietnamese lived in the immediate area, Clarendon’s evolution into something else always seemed inevitable. At least one good restaurant Nam Viet is still here, and the family that owns it did put down roots in Arlington. And Public Shoe is still open for business: The owner is related to the family that ran the nearby clothing store The Quality Shop and were part of a group of Jewish merchants in Clarendon when it was the commercial heart of Arlington.

          • Arlwhenever

            You are right about Clarendon being more of a commerical center than residential enclave — between Rosslyn and Courthouse was a residential concentration. Disruptions associated with Metro construction had pushed out many of the merchants who remained after suburban shopping malls had gutted the demand for department stores in the corridor.

            As for today, you can still see a strong Vietnamese presence in the strip mall across from Loehman’s Plaza on Route 50 in Falls Church. Many Vietnamese also moved to homes in Springfield and Franconia, just outside the Beltway, where they continue to live.

          • samsonite

            Of course the government assisted Vietnamese immigrants. How much assistance they got is an open question though. Nobody here has offered any actual evidence that they got only a small amount of support. Sure, lots of people are simply denying specific things, saying “I remember” or “ask anyone” but that’s not research, that’s pulling it out of your ass. You have to actually go find out.

            As for there not being many stories like that from the Hispanic community, you’re doing the same old thing – just assuming and denying based on your own ignorance. I could easily go out and find a bunch of stories like that, but I’m done making a point you should have figured out by now.

          • Westover

            I meant the era lasted into the early 90’s. A lot of the families are still around, and a bunch live in the Westover/Dominion Hills/Bluemont area.

          • Arlwhenever

            Well, samsonite, now that you have assured me that assimilation and education of Hispanic immigrants is proceeding so smoothly, I suppose I can stop spending time trying to help them become better educated, just like I stopped extending a helping hand to Vietnamese immigrants a couple of decades back. Thank you for enlightening me.

  • Southeast Ben

    First TI-83 calculators and now Ipads? I want to go back to school.

  • TuesdaysChild

    Arlington needs an Office of Republican Affairs. The Latinos have Walter.

    • samsonite

      It would be a very small office.

      • Patrick

        Based on recent election returns there are more republicans (in the 30% range) then there are Latinos in Arlington county.

        • Lou

          Oh snap.

          • SSRS

            and here I was thinking they were the party of “small government”…

      • SomeGuy

        True. But to your point, they are a minority, and therefore are deserving of some expensive taxpayer funded office space so they can reach out to their community.

        • samsonite

          I’ve already noted that I don’t necessarily support having an outreach office for Latinos or anyone else.

          • SomeGuy

            Yes, you noted that. Likewise, I’d note that the sky is not “necessarily” blue and grass is not “necessarily” green. And my post does not necessarily assume that you support a privileged outreach office within the county building.

          • samsonite

            Are you calling me a liar? Anyone can do that too.

            I’m simply debating the facts, and the mindless assumptions people are substituting for actual evidence. If you can’t handle that, don’t participate.

          • SomeGuy

            No, sir/madam. I didn’t call you anything. But you seem to be jumping to the conclusion that I did based on my statement, which I was careful to articulate exactly as ambiguously as you worded yours. Please don’t continue to make “mindless assumptions” about me.

            And I’ll be happy to participate in the conversation, which I’ve been very civil about thus far, with or without your permission. Thanks.

          • samsonite

            Sure sounded like that’s what you were saying. If not, fine, I apologize.

          • Zoning Victim

            Actually, what you are debating doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me. According to your own research, there was a massive influx of refugees from Vietnam who were coming here to escape a communist regime and they risked life and limb to get here; many died on the way. They settled in Arlington after leaving refugee camps, and one reason was because it was an inexpensive place to live, having suffered a recent decline. According to all accounts and evidence presented so far, they did not have a special office of government, the street signs were not in Vietnamese as well as English and county business was not conducted in Vietnamese. They did, however, establish businesses, learn English, translate for their friends/family who could not speak English and pooled their money as a community to purchase buildings from which to do business once the urbanization Clarendon reached a point where what their business were earning could no longer support the amount of money required to remain in business in Clarendon.

            Considering the current situation, what you have are a lot of Hispanic immigrants, not refugees. Most of them came here for family reunification and some are here illegally. Arlington is now one of the most expensive places to live with a median “house or condo value” more than twice that of the rest of Virginia and a median income roughly $40K more than the rest of Virginia (nearly twice the national average). Suffice it to say that this is not an ideal location for a poor immigrant trying to make it in America. At some point, some of them, and some people on their behalf, decided that we should spend our money and come up with a scheme where we can make the housing in Arlington affordable to them, which basically amounts to paying them to live here. Now, some of them and their advocates are calling for a special office of government dedicated to their ethnicity, for more signage in their native language and for government to be run in their language (at least partially) despite being only 15% of the community.

            One of these things is not like the other.

            While I don’t disagree with you that each generation thinks the next is more lazy than their own, I’d submit to you that the reason for that is because it’s true. I have not had to work as hard as my father’s generation to have as nice or much nicer things than he had by my age, nor has he had to work as hard as his father’s generation to achieve the same thing. Be that as it may, you purport that people calling on their own memory is not research when the research you site is based heavily on interviewing elders in the community. In fact the research you presented urges for more of it:
            “1) Establish a comprehensive oral history program to collect, transcribe, preserve, and interpret
            the memories of Vietnamese immigrants who settled in or visited Clarendon in the period
            between 1975 and 1980.”

            The memories of the individual citizens cannot be oral history when they are interviewed by other people and “old man rants” when they are self-authored.

          • samsonite

            Jeez. All I said was the County clearly hired someone to its staff to provide services to them in their native language. That’s clearly a form of language outreach. I didn’t say they didn’t have any initiative, or private help, or didn’t learn English.

            My research showing that the County hired that staff person was from a news article reporting this fact cited in the footnote of the oral history, not the oral history itself.

            And for like the 4th time, I’m not advocating this Hispanic office thingy either.

            I’m just tired of the same old “back in my day, we didn’t have any help, we walked through 20 feet of snow from Sweden. Immigrants today, they’re lazy bums” old man rant thing.

    • TMP

      Funny, I was thinking the same thing. Certainly an underserved minority in Arlington.

  • Runaway Train

    I bike past the camper in the picture daily. It is parked on S. Four Mile Run Dr. and hasn’t moved in months. Two guys live there, when I roll by at 6:00AM the shades are down and the generator is going!

    • ArlingtonSouth

      South Arlington in a nutshell.

  • SamsontheCat

    If they are going to seriously consider an Office of Latino Affairs it should just be the Office of Immigrant Resident Affairs. In practice, sure it would be probably spend most of its days on new Latino immigrants, but would still have services available to the SE Asian, Eastern European, and African (and that one German guy I saw the other day in Ballston) still trickling in.

    Would be wiser, though, to just give breaks to immigrant organizations and churches with programs to help…that is unless it’s just a front for Arlington ICE to catch illegal immigrants.

  • Westover

    RIP Coach Trimble. I know a lot of neighborhood kids who you were a great inspiration and role model to.

  • G Clifford Prout

    Oh, please don’t forget about the office for hermaphrodites.

    • samsonite

      You’re sharing alot of personal info today, Clifford.

      • SomeGuy

        Samsonite, if your wry response is meant to imply that G Clifford Prout is a hermaphrodite, I suggest you consider your own frustrations with “mindless assumptions people are substituting for actual evidence.”

        • samsonite

          Hey, nice comeback! But when it comes to confirming the genital makeup of a stranger, I make an exception to the “actual evidence” requirement. You can look under his skirt if you really want to know though.

          • SomeGuy

            Thanks. I’ll just choose not to make an assumption, which I think is what you were preaching earlier when it suited your argument.

          • samsonite

            Yeah, um, it’s over. Try using this when I’m not making a joke, it’ll work better.

          • SomeGuy

            Trying being funny in your jokes, it’ll work better.

  • Born Yesterday

    Yep, throw em out and let God sort it out, that’s what a Civil society does.
    I’m glad I’ve found Bigot Central here, cause this country sure wasn’t founded on people of different nationalities and backgrounds, working hard together and respecting one another.

    Gosh, I heard that moving to Arlington was going to be difficult, cause we lessers from elsewhere wouldn’t be as culturally sophisticated. You showed us!

    “Separate but Equal”…and so many more quotes….”sink or swim” …
    no level playing field….bootstrap it baby because we don’t condone civil kindness or fairness here…

    Good going Arlington, you got yourselves a nice new KKK of anti-empathy growing here, that’ll make the future more peaceful.

    A lesser from a greater state,
    Hablo Espanol
    Gavaryu pa Russki
    Atakalem Arabeea
    Ni Hao
    And I’ll learn Vietnamese when I find the time


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